World Cup Qatar 2022, African Qualifiers play-off draw: as it happened
African Qualifiers play-off draw: live online
CAF WC 2022 play-off draw recap:
Egypt vs Senegal
Ghana vs Nigeria
Mali vs Tunisia
DR Congo vs Morocco
Cameroon vs Algeria
(games to be played 23-29 March)
Many thanks for joining us today for the CAF-WCQ play-off draw and post draw reaction. Bring on March !!!!
Could this be Mali's time ?
As the only nation of the ten play-off sides never to have progressed to a World Cup finals, Mali fans will be dreaming that this could be their year and will be hoping for two performances akin to their group stage game at AFCON where they overcame the Carthage Eagles 1-0 despite the game ending in bizarre circumstances.
Senegal and Egypt are two nations who came into AFCON as highly fancied and are two teams that have failed to impress in the group stage. Despite being difficult to break down, Senegal are struggling in front of goal with just a 97th minute Mané penalty for the Lions of Teranga to boast about in three games. Egypt too have been somewhat goal-shy with just two strikes from the Pharaohs in the group stage.
This tie could be decided by a solitary goal!
Word on the street is that Black Stars fans would be willing to put the disappointment of AFCON elimination behind them with a place in the Qatar 2022 finals. The new coach will have a massive task on his hands and very, very little time to prepare with his group ahead of the two legged affair against Nigeria.
From what we've seen in Cameroon, it would be hard to bet against the Super Eagles in advancing to the finals
Cameroon and Algeria also faced off in the third qualifying group ahead of the 2018 Russia World Cup and were placed in a group that saw Nigeria progress. In their meetings Cameroon won 2-0 in Yaounde with the return game in Algiers ending 1-1.
The Mali vs Tunisia WC qualifier will remind many of the recent meeting in Cameroon when the match official Janny Sikazwe of Zambia first blew for full time after only 85 minutes of the Group F opener. He later blew up before the clock had reached the 90 minute mark in a game with VAR checks, substitutions and penalty kicks. The Zambian later complained that he was disoriented and cited heatstroke as the reason for his confusion.
Mali won the game 0-1.
Ireland's Co. Tyrone present at CAF WC play-off games
Ireland's kit manufacturers O'Neills Sport has been the official supplier to DR Congo for the past years and the brand more associated with Gaelic football has been an unusual addition to the world of African football with the small family business looking to expand its wings as it seals new deals with Australian Rules football teams.
Company MD Kieran Kennedy on being the official kit supplier for the Democratic Republic of Congo national side:
“When they won a big game in the African Cup of Nations they sent us videos of the crowds on the street, and it was hundreds of thousands welcoming them home with loads of people wearing O’Neills kits.
“It was mad, we couldn’t believe it, it was surreal, they’re lovely people to work with, and we have a good working relationship.”
Seven of the ten sides involved in this play-off draw are through to the AFCON Round of 16 with just Algeria and Ghana missing out with The Foxes and Black Stars surprise eliminations at the tournament.
DR Congo failed to qualify for the Cameroon competition.
All five ties are really tough to call with no obvious standout winner in the games. Could home in advantage in the second leg be the decisive factor ?
Suggestions that the second leg of the West Africa derby will be played at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja
WC 2022: key dates
The 2022 tournament kicks off on Monday 21 November at the Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor with a match that will feature the host country.
The final will be played at the Lusail Stadium in Doha on Sunday 18 December.
The play-off game against Nigeria is the perfect opportunity for Ghana to recover the lost self-esteem after their disappointing performances in Cameroon with the four-time AFCON winners enduring a humbling first round exit. The Black Stars too will have a new man on the bench following the dismissal of Serbian Milovan Rajevac.
What a baptism of fire for new Super Eagles coach José Peseiro with the Portuguese set to take the reins upon the conclusion of AFCON. The 61-year-old will have some experience of big derby games having coached the likes of FC Porto and Sporting CP in his native Portugal.
Ghana v Nigeria: history
Black Stars and Super Eagles have played each other on 56 occasions with Ghana having the upper hand on their neighbours with 25 wins and 19 draws. The Super Eagles have prevailed only in 12 games!
The draw for the 2022 World Cup is expected to take place in Doha in April with the exact date still to be confirmed.
The Senegal-Egypt tie is destined to divide Liverpool fans with one of their star strikers in Mo Salah or Sadio Mané set to miss out at football's biggest party in November. Both sides have advanced to the Round of 16 stage at AFCON 2021, but it's fair to say that neither have found their rhythm at the competition.
Excellent draw from CAF, really well paced and with just enough chat and analysis from the former players and governing body officials. Fine job too from Mimi Fawaz in overseeing the draw procedure too.
Confirmation from CAF that the games will take place from 23-29 March with exact dates and kick-off times to be confirmed soon after CAF liaises with the involved FA's.
The two standout ties are undoubtedly Senegal vs Egypt and the West African Nigeria-Ghana match-ups.
CAF WC 2022 play-off draw recap:
Senegal vs Egypt
Ghana vs Nigeria
Tunisia vs Mali
DR Congo vs Morocco
Cameroon vs Algeria
The final game will see: Mali vs Tunisia
Match-up 4 sees....DR Congo and they will face Morocco
Next tie will see..... Ghana... the Black Stars who recently were knocked out of AFCON can get back on track as they face Nigeria ! A massive West Africa derby !!!!
Game 2- Cameroon v Algeria
What a tie to open the draw !!! Inevitable Salah v Mane match-up!
Draw time .... first ball out from Pot 2 is ...... Egypt and they will face Senegal !!!!!
Quick goals reel video now showcasing the fine finishing finesse of the ten involved sides.
CAF's Samson Adamu now talks us through the draw procedure and explains how the ten teams are divided into two pots based on current FIFA rankings ....Good pace from the draw so far.... slick and smooth !
Adebayor will be manning Pot 1 which features: Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria & Nigeria
El Hadji Djiouf mans Pot 2 with contains the balls representing: Egypt, Mali, DR Congo, Ghana & Cameroon
Next up, today's special guests who will assist with the draw, Togolese legend Adebayor and former Bolton and Liverpool player, Senegal's El Hadji Djiouf.
'African football will be amongst the best in the world' concludes Motsepe
Now, some words from CAF President Patrice Motsepe.... He wants the CAF representatives at Qatar to build on the good work stated by the Cameroon team with Roger Milla at Italia 1990.
He reminds us that for the 2026 World Cup, CAF will have ten nations represented in the US/Mexico/Canada competition.
First up, some words from FIFA head Infantino who greets is via video-conference from Zurich-Doha ?
Nigerian-Lebanese sports journalist Mimi Fawaz is our presenter for today's draw
We're live in the draw room in Douala with a few scattered FA and socially distancing members from the involved nations in attendance along with a handful of media representatives.
One notable omission from today's draw is Ivory Coast with 'Les Elephants' finding themselves in a tough group with Malawi, Mozambique and eventual group winners Cameroon. One has to go back to Germany 2014 for their last appearance at a World Cup finals.
Hopefully CAF will adopt the UEFA approach of 'less is more' when it comes do drawing colored balls from large transparent glass bowls. With the usual video goals reel, chat from the former pros etc, today's entire draw should not take more than 30 minutes, it really depends on how long CAF want to draw the whole thing out for!
Jose Peseiro to oversee Super Eagles WC play-offs
Despite reviling the fortunes of Nigeria at AFCON and indeed winning the coach of the group stage award, Augustine Eguavoen will step aside upon the conclusion of the competition in Cameroon and step aside for new coach Peseiro who was named as the Super Eagles official successor to Gernot Rohr who was dismissed in December.
For those wondering how new press darlings Comoros fared in the CAF World Cup qualifying process, the island nation fell to Togo (3-1 agg) in the first qualifying round and failed to advance to the group stage.
The latest news surrounding Les Coelecantes who play their AFCON Round of 16 game on Monday against hosts Cameroon is that 12 of the squad have tested positive for Covid-19.
These CAF play-off games will be played between 24-29 March with the teams in Pot 1 playing the second leg at home. The five winners will represent the continent at the 2022 Qatar World Cup which gets underway in November of this year.
Morocco were as the first African team to go past the group stage when they reached the Round of 16 in 1986. The 'Atlas Lions' have appeared in World Cups five times (1970, 1986, 1994, 1998 and 2018)
Douala, yesterday hosted the Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d'Ivoire 2023 Preliminary Round Draw with this the outcome:
Cameroon are Africa's most represented nation at World Cup finals having featured at 7 tournaments followed by Nigeria's Super Eagles who are veterans of six competitions with the 'Lions of the Atlas, Morocco participating five times.
Today's draw comes at a perfect time for both Algeria and Ghana with both holders and four-time AFCON winners being shock exits at the ongoing competition in Cameroon. All other nations involved in today's draw have progressed to the Round of 16 bar DR Congo who failed to qualify for the current AFCON.
Of the involved teams, Mali have yet to taste a WC finals
CAF Competitions Director Samson Adamu will oversee today's draw in Douala.
Ten African nations have advanced to the third and final hurdle in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup with five play-off finals set to decide what teams make the trip to the Gulf nation next November.
The play-off games will be played on a home and away basis (match-dates will be staged March 24-29) and teams will be seeded in accordance to their latest FIFA rankings. Of the ten involved nations, only Mali have never appeared at a World Cup finals before with DR Congo featuring as Zaire in 1974.
Senegalese legend El Hadji Djiouf and former Arsenal and Togo star Emanuel Adebayor will be today's draw assistants in Douala with both men legends of African football.
The draw takes place in Douala (Cameroon) at 16:00 CET/ 08:00 ET
Hello and welcome to our live coverage as we learn the play-off pairings for the ten nations in the CAF World Cup final stage.